Audubon quickly launched operation S.O.S. = SAVE OUR SWIFTS. The Monroe School District’s response to these mostly outside bird lovers was, well, actually, extremely positive. In March the Everett Herald came out with an article about the unfolding drama.
But if the Wagner chimney is torn down, surely the birds will just go down the street to some other chimney. Won’t they?
Vaux’s Happening would document just how significant and important Monroe was to migrating swifts statewide. Long before the last bird was counted, Monroe’s significance was obvious. Of the 183,463 documented Washington State Spring 08 Vaux’s Swift chimney encounters, a stunning 74% occurred in Monroe. The May 7 high count of over 21,000 had to be a standing room only evening for the little birds, and probably doomed the shorten-the-chimney option.
What is it about Monroe’s Wagner Elementary School Chimney that makes it so attractive? A nice clear approach to the chimney entrance may be a part of it, but as every real estate agent is fond of saying, it’s location, location, and location.
Monroe's "Swift Night Out" has been an annual event since Vaux's Happening introduced it in 2008 to draw attention to the significance of the chimney. Visit the Monroe Swifts! website for more information.